The Government Has Accepted Our Demands, We Are Happy: Maharashtra Farmers

13 March, 2018, 11:23 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Masses of protesting India farmers converge on Mumbai

The farmers from across Maharashtra had embarked on a "Long March" from Nashik on March 6 to press their various demand.

The march found support with major political parties of the country exerting more pressure on Devendra Fadnavis-led government.

Wary of the potential ramifications as the farmers prepared to lay "seige" on the Maharashtra Legislature on Monday afternoon, the state government hurriedly formed a high-powered six-member Ministerial Committee to discuss all issues with the peasants. A statement on the floor of the Assembly, Fadnavis said 95% of those camping at Mumbai's Azad Maidan are tribals and "technically" not farmers. "A meeting was held with representatives of farmers and adivasis at Vidhan Bhawan on Monday".

"We have agreed to set up a committee to allocate agricultural land to tribals, provided they submit a proof of pre-2005 land cultivation".

According to local reports, farmers from across Maharashtra first gathered in the city of Nashik, from where they started their foot journey to Mumbai last Tuesday.

The farmers wanted the state government to stop forceful acquisition of farm lands for projects such as super highways and bullet trains. A few of them todday threatened to give up food if the government refuses to give them in writing that their demands would be met.

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About the commitments made, he said, "An important decision we have taken is to extend the loan waiver scheme to cover the 2001-to-2009 period as many farmers (affected during this time) didn't get any benefit in the waiver announced in 2008". The government is positive about addressing the demands of farmers.

BJP lawmaker Poonam Mahajan, however, triggered controversy, saying, "I respect these farmers but what bothered me the most is that these farmers are holding communist flags". They are also demanding a higher MSP - minimum price for procurement of farm produce, which is fixed by the government every crop season.

The Shiv Sena has also lent its support to the farmers stir.

"We asked our men working between Dadar and Colaba to collect food and deliver it to our farmer brothers at the Azad Maidan", he said.

Congress leaders including state chief Ashok Chavan, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Prithviraj Chavan, and the Nationalist Congress Party's President Sharad Pawar and Dhananjay Munde and Jitendra Awhad declared support to the marchers.

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